Yes. It's a feminist book. Feminism Issues & Argument by Jennifer Mather Saul
I have always thought of myself as somewhat of a feminist, always advocating for women's rights and getting annoyed when men think they are superior. What I didn't know was just how much I agree with many of the issues mentioned in this book.
I haven't finished the entire book yet, so I can't really comment on the book as a whole, however I do want to highlight a few points that have really caught my attention. I realize these topics are sometimes "dangerous" but I'm willing to risk it.
Here are some highlighted excerpts from the book that I have found I deeply agree with:
Politics: An interesting point that was brought up was the fact that men still run politics. They have the majority of control. Although we did see a woman vice president candidate and the current prime minister is a woman, politics as a whole is not yet "equal." The way that Saul points this out is that it will be years before we see the presidential and vice presidential candidates of both the republican and democratic party be female. I admit, even when I thought about it, I found it weird. Four females in the presidential election? That thought didn't even enter my mind until Saul. Even when Clinton was up for president, there was no doubt that she was going to chose a male vice presidential candidate. And we all knew that McCain or Paul would be the opposite candidate. If we can think of this scenario (where both parties are represented fully by females), we must also accept that this can go on for some time. That for many years after four females would be running in the presidential election. By imagining this scenario, it is clear that women still have work to do in the field of politics.
Broken Families/ Politics of Families: This topic was also interesting to me. Saul writes, "In many marriages, husbands are able to earn higher incomes only because wives have taken on a much larger share of the childcare. These women, then, by providing most of the childcare, make an enormous contribution to the family income. However, the only work courts generally recognize as relevant to the family income is that of the partner working outside the home." (14) I never really thought about what the deciding factor for child support and alimony in the courts, but this just makes sense to me. If men and women had equal roles of raising children, both would be able to hold the same type of job. However, today, many woman work part-time jobs that enable them more time off and better benefits for children, often resulting in a smaller paying salary. The men, on the other hand, are able to climb up the career later without worrying about childcare, for the most part.
I'm not saying I disagree with the fact that women should care for the children, they should. I just think that there should be equality. I have always dreamed of having a very successful career. I have always imagined being a woman who works and I can't imagine being a stay at home mother. It's just an interesting point that we, as a society, have yet to find an equal split for childcare between a man and a woman. Women are seen as "more nurturing" and etc., but aren't these just roles we have grown up with? Learned from watching our own parents? My mother worked. She first owned her own accounting firm then became the vice president of a juice company. She has been my role model ever since I can remember. She is so successful and still managed to raise three amazing children. But now that I look back, if childcare was completely 100% split with my father, who knows what she could have done? (I'm not saying my father never helped. And I'm not saying he did any wrong in raising us kids. He taught me some of the most valuable lessons I learned growing up. I'm a daddy's girl and always will be. I am very close with my father, to the point where is he is one of my best friends. I'm just thinking feminist thoughts here) My mother will always be someone I look up to. She will always be seen by me as strong, independent, and successful, three of the most desired traits I yearn to obtain.
Pornography: I have always been against pornography. I have never viewed it or desired to view it. I have always seen it as degrading and disgusting. But until I read what Saul had to say about it, I didn't know the extent to which I would come to despise it. How I feel can be summed up by Catharine MacKinnon, "Pornography sexualizes rape, battery, sexual harassment, the prostitution, and the sexual abuse; it thereby celebrates, promotes, authorizes, and legitimizes them." Before this book, I had no idea that rape and murder can be directly linked to pornography. In one study I read about online, they had people watch a video of a woman getting raped and a porn. The majority of viewers couldn't tell the difference. The word "no" is never taken into consideration in porn. Sexual harassment is seen as "sexy" and women are seen as sexual objects: it shows men dominating in sexual relations and women as simply obedient to the wants of men.
Saul points out 4 arguments for pornography:
"1. Pornography is not just an expression, as there are real sexual acts taking place, and sometimes, these are acts of rape and violence.
2. Pornography hurts women, by causing violence, especially sexual violence, against women, This is argued for on the basis of rapists' testimony, psychological evidence, and women's reactions to pornography
3. Pornography plays a key role in shaping men and women, teaching that maleness is about sexual domination and femaleness about sexual submission . This power dynamic then works to subordinate women to men in many other areas of life
4. Pornography is itself an act of subordination and silencing of women." (80)
These points are all that I believe in. And I think they are pretty self-explanatory.
This book is really an eye opener. It's something I believe in. I believe in the rights for women. I believe in equality and fairness.
This is the beginning to my journey of feminism. I have developed a new love for studying feminists' views. After all, feminists still have a lot of work ahead of them.
And I'm always down to help with a cause I believe strongly in.